Compression Sacks – Are you using them?

If you’re not using compression sacks in your pack, you are missing out… on a lot of extra usable space in your pack!

With most sleeping bags, as a gear example, you get a stuff sack. Yes, it definitely compresses your bag down to a manageable size, rather than straight-up stuffing it into your pack directly (that would fill up your pack right there!) however, it can get smaller.

In the examples below, I am using a Sea to Summit eVent Compression Dry Sack (Size Large). I went with a dry sack, to make certain that my sleeping bag always gets to camp dry. There is nothing worse than being wet and getting to camp, only to climb into a wet bag. That is a bad case for hypothermia right there.

I will also be using my larger Kelty Cosmic o-degree sleeping bag, in an effort to really showcase the space savings here.

The Comparison…

First, I measured the stuff sack the came with the pack… ready for this? 18.5" long x 12" wide. That is HUGE!

I then compared to the compression dry sack… 11.5" long x 9" wide. That is a savings of 8" in length, and 3” in width! If that is not a reason right there to go out and buy a compression sack, I am not sure what is…


  • If you are using a dry sack, be sure to squeeze as much air out as possible before closing it up. It cannot escape anywhere once inside.
  • When not actively using your bag, remove it from the compression sack and hang it in a closet. This is especially important when using down bags, the baffles will get all wonky, and you will lose it’s thermal effectiveness that way.
  • When compressing, keep spinning the bag around and tighten each strap as even as possible. For the example above, I had to do 9 or 10 iterations of this to really cinch it down.
  • Get as much leverage as possible when compressing it as well to really make an effective use of the compression sack.
  • Enjoy more room in your pack, and a dry sleeping bag! Not bad for ~$40 for a savings of that much space, and an almost guaranteed dry and warm sleeping bag!

Not just for sleeping bags…

Since I normally carry a 50L pack for all 4 seasons, space is definitely at a premium, especially in winter, so I have a couple of these eVent compression dry sacks. Use them for bulky items that can be compressed, as these come in a variety of sizes, you can find the perfect combination to save some space.

  • Down or synthetic puffy jackets/vests
  • Extra clothing (socks, rain gear, shirts, pants)
  • Sleeping bag liners
  • Quilts
  • Bouncy house
  • Slip-n-slide
  • Beach ball collection

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